Q at The Empress - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

4.5
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500 reviews
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CAN$31 to CAN$50
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Regional American (Northwest)
Q represents Queen and country, the revered figure for whom this hotel was named. A singular letter, for a very singular space.

Located in the most storied room in Victoria, Q at the Empress is a must-visit culinary celebration that is second to none. This atmospheric space has a distinctly modern, contemporary feel, all the while staying true to the building’s unique iconic heritage with its dark cherry wood ceilings and spectacularly detailed moldings. Focusing on regional ingredients, the carefully curated menu features locally sourced seafood, meats and produce prepared surely and skillfully by Chef Morgan Wilson and his incredible team. Try one of over 850 bottles of wines from the temperature controlled visible wine wall featuring the best of the Pacific North West and select vintages from all over the globe. From romantic dinner to vibrant social event all you need to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy Q at the Empress, the place to be on Vancouver Island.
What 500 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
Food
4.6
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.0
Value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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s
Denver
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

It was fabulous. Our server was outstanding.

GW
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

The food was amazing. The local fish and vegetables were amazing and the preparation was incredible. The only negative was that the server was a bit too talkative and attentive for my taste but meant well.

AB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We spent a lovely 45 min. or so out on the Veranda having a celebratory drink and appetizer. We let both the hostess and our server know we had reservations for dinner at the Q. As our reservation time approached, we realized we had assumed Q would be notified we were on the Veranda, but oops, hadn't given our name or asked them to do that. It all worked out and we were seated promptly. Maddie was very attentive (but not overly so) and knowledgeable. Her expertise was evident on every level and helped to make our experience exceptional. The restaurant wasn't overly busy so we were able to enjoy our coffee and dessert at our leisure.

B
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 2

Started off with music too loud to talk across table. Despite several requests, only abated when they changed performers.
Menu was very limited, but they made Caesar salad off menu and saved the day. Scallops with octopus bacon delivered in promise of exotic fare, and NY strips were good quality and well prepared. Compressed potatoes were the outstanding feature - crazy good! Overall great meal for moderately-good value.

T
Montreal
37 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 3

We found the menu and wine list quite adequate. Service was excellent. The meal was marred by the live music from the bar area - we didn’t think it was nice background music.

OT
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Creative presentation. Delicious food.

KW
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

I give it a bit of a lower review only because
1) I had to pour the wine for the table (should have been done by waiter).
2) The waiter took my plate prior to my other guests being finished their food (unless you`re eating at a diner, all plates should be taken at the same time).
3) The Vegan dish had the word `Sausage` in it & one of our meat loving guests ordered it by accident (and got stuck eating very dry vegan hockey pucks).

Waiter was super nice, wine list fantastic, duck was excellent, heirloom tomato salad gorgeous.

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Celebrated my wife’s birthday during brunch. The food, drinks, and service was wonderful. Great fresh farm to table offerings and a unique mimosa special. On top of that the waitress was terrific.

Warren

PC
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Unparalleled setting in a beautiful dining room and building. Food was beyond what I expected, creative and delicious. Service was attentive.

Next trip to Victoria, we will go back.

OT
Orange County
19 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

This was a lovely experience. Some people complain online about slow service but it is a unique experience and everyone is patient and kind. Spending two hours for dinner is such a fine atmosphere is fine!!!!

LP
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 3

My ratings are on the low side because of my experience trying to make a reservation, and how I was treated on arrival. It was impossible to make a reservation by phone. I tried several times and the recording (no one ever picked up) told me to call the very number I had dialled to get into this phone loop. I resorted to the online reservation system, Opentable, and it was fine if not my preferred way to reserve. On arrival, there was one lady in front of me whom the hostess seated and spent the next few minutes chit-chatting with her(!) while I was completely ignored (no indication she would be right with me or anything, no acknowledgement). On completing the conversation, the hostess prioritized removing the extra glassware and cutlery from this table and disappearing all the way to the rear of the restaurant, rather than greet and seat me. And it wasn’t like she came right back! I waited another couple of minutes for her to reappear and come to the desk. No apology for the lengthy wait. My server was very good - no issues with that, and the food was fine. But the rest of the experience was not Fairmont quality.

RW
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Beautiful hotel with lovely dining and bar area. The food was wonderful!. We had steak and Halibut and it was delicious! I would highly recommend.

S
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 4Food 2Service 5Ambience 5

The hotel was amazing,
The service in the restaurant was outstanding.
The food was not the best Fairmont we have eaten in. The food was good but nothing amazing in comparison to the price.
I ordered a tenderloin steak which was over cooked.

DB
Worcestershire
2 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A lovely Sunday roast last night with excellent service

VG
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great restaurant and staff. The food was amazing. We look forward to coming back soon!

RC
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

We had a meal with appetizer and main course filled by dessert. Th appetizer was a seafood sampler and was very good with each seafood highlighted by the recipe presentation. One of us had the halibut. It was exceptional but small. Rabbit was ample and the sides with it were complimentary to the meat. The Cornish game hen was also very good but the helping was a bit small. For dessert the chocolate mouse was great but the much touted Empress cake was dry and a bit of a disappointment.
There was a wait of an hour between the appetizers and the main course which seemed a tad long.
Wine choice were good.
Service was attentive when available.
Overall the food was above average but value for cost was not there.

MM
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 1

Service is quite slow... that appears to be consistent...the same as our last visit for lunch.
Understaffed? Took quite a while for the bottle of wine we ordered to come...and we had to ask for bread.

Pricing is high end... so one expects a lot more. Actually, pricing is too high... $9 for a bottle of still and 4( for a bottle of sparkling? Really?
There is little intimacy as there is a constant flow of people walking by the entrance, looking in... as it is so wide open...open to all who are walking through the hotel.
Food was good, but not worth the price...

UL
Dallas
6 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Loved the halibut

JB
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food, wine, and dessert, as well as the service (Will) were fantastic!

BC
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My family and I visited The Empress after nearly 25 years and found it to be the same classy establishment as a quarter century ago with superb food and exemplary service. We were all impressed with the dishes we ordered. I found the rhubarb carpaccio dessert outstanding. Our table was waited by Ms. Maddie, who is one of the best service professionals I have encountered. Everyone enjoyed the dinner outing after arriving on the Star Princess cruise ship.

J
Atlantic Canada
7 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Enjoyed dinner and drinks on the Veranda, overlooking Victoria’s Inner Harbour at sunset. Food and drinks were excellent and perfectly complimented the best patio in downtown Victoria.

M
Montreal
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Everything was perfect and for a correct Price. I've been to a lot of great restaurant and this one is one of it!

KB
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Servers should be trained better. Plates should not be picked up until all guests have finished eating.

WP
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Love this place, best tasting food ever. Have ordered 4 different times, food is always hot and tasty. Chefs have a private garden and grow spices. I would rate the creativity and flavor of the food here my favorite. That is saying a great deal because I’m 55 and have tried many restaurants. A+ and I’ll be back

SL
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 4Ambience 3

Please see my review on Tripadvisor - this will save me reliving the whole experience.
Needless to say, your reservation meant nothing at all to the hostess.

LS
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic dining experience. Wait staff was excellent!

TV
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

We were a party of eight who had made reservations months ahead and reconfirmed an hour prior to arrival, and we were not dining early (8pm was our scheduled time and we arrived exactly on the dot), and we were immediately identified on the maitre d’s list, so it was rather surprising to arrive and find that they were completely unprepared for us. We had to stand at the front while they hurriedly pushed two tables together to accommodate our party.

The food and service were fabulous, but the noise level in the restaurant from the live band playing in the bar was so high it impeded conversation.

It took forty minutes from the time we arrived until our drinks were served, and when we mentioned we need to be done with dinner no later than three hours after our scheduled arrival, our first two courses were delivered simultaneously, with the third following at a normal pace.

The food itself was delicious, and the portions were large enough that we wished we had done two courses instead of three.

We will definitely return, and will recommend it to our friends, but with the caveat that it is VERY noisy and probably best enjoyed if one requests a table as far away from the front as possible, or before the band starts playing.

T
Seattle
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

Very good food bur needed to wait to long time for the waiter 2 times.

RF
New England
17 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Fabulous food and fabulous service. Very well trained waitstaff and creative dishes

SF
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Everything was swell eating at the Empress, but would have appreciated knowing there was three separate dining areas. Was sent to the brunch area without question. Would have preferred knowing that the lunch menu was also being served.

EE
Atlanta
29 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Q is a very nice place to eat if you want an elegant setting that is a break from noise and crowds. Service was excellent without being stuffy. Food was uniquely prepared and very good, although I sometimes wished for simpler renderings of some dishes. For example, the rabbit tasted intense, perhaps because it was brined. Delicious but I would have enjoyed a more traditional take on rabbit braised in wine. The chocolate mousse dessert ranks among the best I have ever had...a must.

c
Jacksonville
71 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Q at the Empress is more then a hotel restaurant. Oysters were tasty. The burrata was so-so. The prime rib was as good as any. Sides were a little weak. Service was outstanding. The wiatress was very patient with a large group.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Prime rib carvery cart was reminiscent of the Sunday supper we had when I was a lad

PW
Cleveland
10 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Insanely perfect - everything. Food Was incredible, service was impeccable, Setting was gorgeous and comfortable. This exceeded all expectations, and was one of the finest dining experiences we’ve had in years. Thank you to our servers Will and Emily - and manager Maeve - for a truly memorable experience!!

CH
Singapore
8 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Excellent fine dining food coupled with good service but a bit noisy as it is part of a public area, makes this a good relax evening for cocktail and dinner. Price is reasonable but not cheap.

H
Phoenix
5 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Wine, appetizers, entries and desserts were excellent.
Service was timely, professional and friendly.
Pricey but a good memory.

OT
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic!

MW
New England
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 4Ambience 4

Menu uses exotic ingredients and is not so easy to follow but waiter does explain and
answer questions. Food was very good but as this dinner was included in our tour it is hard to
know value versus price. Portions were reasonable ; not too small and not too large.

OT
Calgary
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

My mom and I were at Q at the Empress for her birthday recently. Our server, Maddie, was delightful ~ very kind and very professional. She addressed me formally each time she approached our table. The food was the best I've eaten in a long time ~ my mom said the same of hers. The ambiance was perfect, the live music was just the right volume. I have nothing negative to say about our experience at the Q. I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

m
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 3Ambience 5

Love the history and ambience of this restaurant. The menu choices were wonderful and filled with seasonal offerings that were delicious. Service was very slow for a Sunday evening with a lot of open tables and even when we prefaced that we had a hard stop 2 hours after our reservation time. However our server was very nice and knowledgeable.

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